Fishing on the banks of the Clarence River at Grafton was Merv Cassie. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
Fishing on the banks of the Clarence River at Grafton was Merv Cassie. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

Rains boost fish take in estuaries

RECENT rains have given a boost to returns from fishing activity in the estuaries, but once again, the strong winds and big seas have restricted activity offshore.

With most of the strong winds coming up about midday, those who get offshore early, and plan to be back by lunchtime are well rewarded.

And with the warm currents continuing along the coast, there have been reports of big catches of mackerel off Woody Head and in Shark Bay -at least a month ahead of the normal schedule.

In the estuaries, bream continue to be the most rewarding catch, although big flathead are starting to appear.

The river above Grafton is carrying plenty of colour, resulting in better numbers of fish around Brushgrove and further downstream.

Plenty of bream are being taken off the banks around Maclean, with young Jay Reader scoring one of 850g , while "Boom-Boom" was not far behind with one of 750g.

However, the biggest one weighed in during the week was the 1.09kg catch by Michael Orr of Maclean who fished at Shelley using a plastic lure.

Although the big seas have increased the risk for rock hoppers, good catches have been made in the white water in the sheltered corners of the headlands.

There have been reports of plenty of tailor on the bite, especially in the Woody Head and Shark Bay areas.

Mischa Porter of Iluka continued a successful run by this week scoring the biggest tailor, a fish of 2.564kg taken on a lure at Iluka Bluff.

Cliff Andreasen of Tewantin, a visitor from Queensland, tried his luck on main beach at Iluka and returned with a tailor of 2.382kg on a bonito bait.

The big flathead are moving towards the entrance of the river on their spawning run.

Terry Daly of Yamba continued his success on the Middle Wall where he landed a flathead of 3.03kg

In recent weeks he has also done well with blackfish in the same area, but this week this species has been hard to locate.

Jewfish have also been hard to find, although some have been reported from the breakwalls at the entrance to the river and big fish have been heard chopping around the Oyster Channel bridge at night.

The biggest jewfish weighed in this week was the 5.43kg schoolie landed by James McLachlan of Grafton who fished in the vicinity of the Harwood Bridge.

The drift from the bridge past the sugar refinery down to the Slipway should also be worth a try in present conditions, especially for flathead..

Bass fishing has gone quiet for the moment with a lot of dirty water in the Copmanhurst area and more coming out of Sportsmans Creek at Lawrence.

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